Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 25

“I actually think it’s because I never met anybody I wanted to marry and live with!”

--Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, volunteering, at Maria Shriver's female-empowerment conference, the answer to the unasked question about whether she was still single because she worked so hard. PHOTO from: Princess Sparkle Pony's Photo Blog I keep track of Condoleezza's hairdo so you don't have to.

"Filth and Wisdom"

--Madonna’s new film. RIGHT: Eugene Hutz in the film


Regarding Fortresses - Captain Crispin Burke, Small Wars Journal: "The US Department of State needs to adopt a two-fold approach to re-examining its public diplomacy policies. First, it needs to stop wasting billions of dollars on embassies that are counter-productive to US foreign policy. … Secondly, the State Department needs to hire far more foreign operatives … . Engaging the local population is the key to success in public diplomacy, and should not be left entirely in the hands of the military.” See also John Brown, “They're Supersizing the Baghdad Embassy. Big Mistake” (Washington Post, July 11, 2004). PHOTO: The old bunker at Reinhardstrasse 20 built in 1942 as part of Nazi architect Albert Speer's Germania project.

Global Ethics Corner: McCain and Obama: The Public Diplomacy DanceCarnegie Council Resources: “One view is that we have to communicate better. … Another position is that moral authority can't be built on ineffective policy. Third, maybe we need to change structure? How can the State Department be responsible for implementing and explaining administration policy and also for asserting America's moral role? … Finally, perhaps you simply have to live with some tensions?" See John Brown, "Barack Obama and Fred Astaire: What a Pair!" Notes and Essays

US international broadcasts criticized at UN meeting - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Powell: PD Needed on Day One - Melinda Brouwer, Foreign Policy Association: Public Diplomacy and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election: “Should General Powell’s preferred presidential candidate be elected, I would hope that Mr. President would follow the General’s sage advice [‘I think what the president has to do is to start using the power of the Oval Office and the power of his personality to convince the American people and to convince the world that America is solid’] and ready his public diplomacy team for the challenge that awaits it.”

Entertainment, Politics & Cultural Diplomacy - Johanna Blakley, Public Diplomacy Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: Governments, industry and academia would be served well by a series of global opinion surveys that create a baseline for information about the reception of global entertainment products around the world. The results so far buttress the argument for funding cultural diplomacy programs, and they demonstrate the urgency of doing so in the United States in particular.

Soft Power, Hard Truths: Admiring Japan makes U.S. less insular - Roland Kelts, Daily Yomiuri: "The United States has become infamous in recent years for granting little respect to foreign nationals. Indeed, it is almost a point of pride for some Americans to ignore the rest of the world, as U.S. President George W. Bush has so brutally proven. But when Japanese visit the United States in the 21st century, they are often treated as icons of a superior world--a place where the American dream has actually found a taker, and one that may even be better skilled at reproducing it."


Ask the pilot: The American non-traveler: What's the price of staying put? Plus: When airline pilots have the opportunity to roam widely, but choose not to - Patrick Smith, Salon: The truth is that too many Americans are shamefully, even willfully uninterested in the world beyond their borders, and have at best a superficial awareness of world geography. In 2002, a National Geographic survey revealed that 85 percent of Americans between ages 18 and 24 could locate neither Afghanistan nor Iraq on a map. Sixty-nine percent could not find Great Britain.

The Obama Test: Personnel is Policy - Thomas B. Edsall, Huffington Post: “It's widely agreed that John Kerry would give up his Senate seat if offered Secretary of State, … Richard Holbrooke is a possible, but not likely, choice at State … ."Is there a role for Tony Lake?" Lake put the Obama foreign policy team together but has said that his job ends on November 4, and that he wants nothing. Could Obama make him an offer --- like CIA director -- that he can't refuse? … . [Greg] Craig, Susan Rice, Samantha Power and a number of others are considered likely candidates for National Security Adviser.”

McCain, Obama and North Korea – Editorial, Washington Times: In recent months, North Korea pushed the administration to capitulate on the subject of what conditions Pyongyang would have to meet for removal from the terror list. The deal announced earlier this month contains a number of gaping loopholes. Mr. Obama reacted favorably to the deal, calling it a "modest step forward." Mr. McCain takes a more realistic approach.

Al Jazeera's controversial coverage of the U.S. election - Kim Andrew Elliott Discussing International Broadcasting and Public Diplomacy

Bin Laden writing his memoirs - Press Trust of India: The book, being written in Arabic, will later be translated into English. Bin Laden decided to write the book to counter "propaganda" against Al Qaeda, Geo News channel reported.

Bringing Western education to Iraq's ‘lost generation' - Mark Mackinnon, Globe and Mail: The the fledgling American University in Iraq in Sulaymaniyah -- AUI-S, as it is known -- is a rapidly growing all-English university that's shattering the boundaries of what a university in Iraq can be. It's also a reminder of a time – before Sept. 11, 2001 – when the United States used “soft power” rather than military force to spread its influence around the planet. The U.S. government has contributed only $10.3-million of the university's $500-million budget – worried, Acting chancellor Joshua Mitchell said, that the AUI-S would look like an “imperial venture” because of being built while Iraq is under U.S. military occupation.

Faith-Based Surge: Whining About Winning in Iraq - Saul Landau, Counterpunch: Maliki’s sectarian Shiites and their allies in Tehran have emerged from a formerly Sunni-run state to govern, thanks to US help. McCain and Palin refer to this dreary scenario when they whine about Obama not accepting “winning.”

Bipartisan Policy: Bomb-Bomb Iran - Gordon Prather, According to a report released last month by the Grand Pooh-Bahs of The Bipartisan Policy Center it shouldn't matter whether a Republican or a Democrat becomes our next President; he'll probably have to bomb-bomb Iran. And the sooner, the better.

The Word from America's Allies: Afghanistan the Un-Winnable - Binoy Kampmark, Counterpunch

Progress in Kashmir: A trade route opens in the troubled region between Pakistan and India - Rajan Menon, Los Angeles Times: The threat posed by Islamic militancy and terrorism leaves Pakistan's newly formed democratic government with only bad choices. To please the United States, it has to deal more aggressively with both threats -- and take bigger losses in the process. But if it starts getting tougher, it not only risks alienating the public, which dislikes Pakistan's role as America's adjutant in the war on terrorism, it could cause the violence to spread.

Pakistan to Talk It OutTruthdig: Growing anger at “America’s war” has led to massive popular protests and parliamentary action against U.S. military involvement in Pakistan. A resolution passed by Pakistan’s parliament Wednesday calls for dialogue with “extremist groups” and an end to military activity, a strategy that refocuses the country toward an “independent foreign policy.”

Propaganda tells no lies: The forgotten link between the USSR and the USA - Susannah Kroeber, Brown Spectator: “Between September 6th and October 19th, The David Winton Bell Gallery in the List Art Center and the John Hay Library Gallery have played host to a fantastically-curated arrangement of original copies of 20th century propaganda pieces, primarily from Russia but also a few notable examples from Czech artists. … Despite the staunch and sturdy messages these posters sound, the stereotypical Soviet propaganda is not what set this exhibit apart. What surprised and astonished me about the diversity of the art was two-fold: firstly how similar some of the comedic styles were to American propaganda and cartoons of that period, and secondly how amazingly accurate some of the social criticism of the United States was, even just through the presentation of an image.”

28,000 X Chromosomes Strong: Women—and Ahh-nold—flock to Maria Shriver's female-empowerment conference - Lynn Sherr, Daily Beast: At the conference Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the glass ceiling was “getting much, much thinner.” After all, she pointed out, “We haven’t had a white male secretary of state in 12 years.” Rice also volunteered the answer to the unasked question about whether she was still single because she worked so hard. “I actually think it’s because I never met anybody I wanted to marry and live with!”

New Cheesy Clips From Flynt's Paylin OutrageWith Guest Stars "Hillary" and "Condi": Forget Joe the plumber. Here comes Larry the pornographerDaily Beast: Today, the Daily Beast cinematheque presents two previously unreleased scenes from Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?, Larry Flynt's filmic treatment of the Alaska governor. Porn star Lisa Ann plays the governor. The clip has been censored and there's no full nudity. But there is still some of naughty stuff, including shots of "the governor" canoodling with "Hillary" and "Condi," so the clip is NOT APPROPRIATE for young eyes. VIDEO.

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